It was a fabulous day to be out on the water and while there was a fall nip in the air, the day was warm and sunny on the water. We began our tour this morning, uncertain of the whereabouts of the A30 matriline who had been sighted heading west of Kaikash Beach around 7:45 a.m.. With there being no blows in sight when scanning down Johnstone Strait we made our way out through Weynton Passage and continued scanning with our binoculars out into the Queen Charlotte Strait and Blackfish Sound passing five humpback whales en route when suddenly the blows of orcas were in our sights! It was an exciting discovery and we made our way towards Swanson Island where we could see the blows and dorsal fins of several orcas moving west along the shoreline in the fast flowing ebb current. The first orca(s) we sighted was A38 followed by his mother A30 (A30 matriline) and suddenly while we were watching the other orcas making their way along the Swanson Island shoreline, a small group of possibly four orcas came from behind taking us by surprise followed by another two orcas whose fins at a glance resembled the A25’s. These groups were spread out and might well have been the A23’s and the A25’s but we cannot confirm this. It all happened so quickly when suddenly the fin of A66 appeared beside A79 and A42 was also sighted confirming the A8’s travelling close beside the A54’s and the A50’s (daughters of A30 and their calves) a small distance separated. The viewing was brilliant and close with the orcas swimming nearby, them having moved well out from the shoreline at the top end of Blackfish Sound while we sat drifting in the current, our engine cut listening to their beautiful A-Clan calls via our hydrophone. It was a special and moving experience for everyone onboard, especially for those who had never seen an orca or whale before. With so many humpback whales in the near vicinity, we changed course, moving away from the orcas (who continued on to the west passing Donegal Head), over towards Bold Head enjoying the viewing of several of them, some were tail-lobbing, others were breaching, the viewing was phenomenal! Making our way home crossing Blackfish Sound, Weynton Passage and finally Cormorant Channel there were several humpback whales breaching and one very close to the boat that nobody managed to photograph. It was amazing to see so much activity including bubble netting, which we all watched in excited amazement, spellbound! Other sightings included: dall’s porpoises, harbour seals, stellar sea lions, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, red-necked phalaropes++, california, mew and glaucous-winged gulls and bald eagles.

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